Lord of the Flies: Human Savagery

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Lord of the Flies Essay

Nicholas Wong

Ms. Ghai
March 8, 2012
Task: Does William Golding present a realistic portrayal of how savage humankind can be? Or does he underestimate the goodness in people? Does Golding’s use of WWII as the backdrop have a significant impact on our understanding of human nature?

In William Golding’s novel, “The Lord of the Flies”, he displays human nature in an animalistic viewpoint that is not seen in “normal” people. He describes the unknown savagery of human beings, without missing the good nature found within us, which allows us to work as a well-organized group. World War Two is also used effectively as a backdrop, since it shows that the violence is found in everyone.

The theme of savagery is used at various points in the book, providing a realistic portrayal of how violent humankind can be. This starts with Jack and his hunters, who had become obsessed with the killing of a pig, that he had ignored the chance of being rescued during one of his hunts. The sow was a mother who was still caring for her young when she was killed. Having showed no humane ideals, this portrays how some of the boys had already become wrapped in a more savage mindset. Later in the book, others in the group joined Jack in his bloodthirsty hunts and share similar ideals with him. Other points that show savagery are when Simon and Piggy are killed. In Simon’s case, he was killed due to being mistaken for the Beast, thus being an accident that never intended to happen. However, the lack of mourning from Jack’s group shows how they showed little to no regret in his death. At Piggy’s untimely death, he was murdered intentionally by Jack’s hunters. Since this was an intentional act, it shows how most of the boys are not disturbed by killing another human being, thus displaying how their animalistic behaviour has affected them. Lastly, the soldiers who had rescued the boys in the end represent the savagery on a much larger scale. Being...
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